Saturday, October 17, 2009

Colville Tribe Testing Selective Fishing Gear

The Colville Tribe is for the second year testing non-lethal fishing methods as alternatives to gill nets in their tribal fishery on the Columbia. Gill nets are not selective meaning that any fish caught is dead. In the Columbia and many other systems in the Lower 48, bycatch on endangered wild stocks may seriously limit their chances at recovery and can limit the number of days that tribal fishers are allowed to have their gear in. Colville tribal members fish on the Upper Columbia and were again successful in using both tangle nets and seines to capture steelhead and chinook this year. Both steelhead and chinook have a very high survival rate when released from a seine allowing the tribe to sort out wild fish and release them while harvesting hatchery fish. If pilot projects are successful the widespread application of their methdos would be a boon to imperiled wild stocks where tribal members are still using gill nets to fish commercially. More info on the Columbia Basin Bulletin.

and some information on WDFWs website about this and other ongoing selective gear tests

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